Dave Umahi, the governor of Ebonyi State and chairman of South-East Governors’ Forum, says leaders of the region are working to find a political solution to resolve challenges of insecurity and the continued incarceration of separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu.
Mr Umahi made the statement via a release issued in Abakaliki saying the forum and leaders of the region had identified some spokespersons of the separatist group, Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).
He, however, mentioned that the political solutions could “be achieved faster if all the illegal “sit-at-home’’ orders and violence by the various state agitators are stopped.”
Mr Umahi assured that the governors forum, the socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Nd’igbo and the Conference of Southeast Bishops and Traditional Rulers were working hard to ensure adequate security in all parts of the zone.
“South-East governors are studying their reports with the elders and leaders of the various South-East states and very soon we will be meeting with the federal government on these issues.
“We are also looking at deploying political solutions in the case of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB leader, which we have already initiated,’’ the statement read.
On Thursday, Northern Elders Forum kicked against any talks of amnesty for Mr Kanu who has been in the federal government’s net for charges bordering on treason and terrorism.
The northern group said the Biafra sovereign state agitator must be prosecuted according to Nigerian laws while excoriating South-East leaders pushing for a political solution to the controversy.
On the Anambra governorship election billed to hold on November 6, Mr Umahi pleaded with all security agencies deployed for the exercise to secure the lives of the people in Anambra while operating within the rules of their engagements.
“We are aware that the insecurity in the South-East has gone beyond IPOB. Cultists, armed robbers and kidnappers have recruited themselves and are using the name of IPOB to kill innocent citizens. We will not allow this to continue,’’ the statement stressed.
The governor applauded the federal government and INEC for their determination to hold the election.
“We will give them every support and shall help them to ensure a free, fair and violence-free election.
“We, therefore, ask our people to go out and vote for candidates of their choice as we have been assured of adequate security measures to secure their lives and property.
“We are confident that through our mediation, that of religious leaders, the Ohaneze Nd’igbo and traditional rulers, IPOB will see reasons to call off all “sit-at-home’’ orders including the one ordered for November 5 to November 10,’’ the statement read.